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Peptides. 1998;19(2):407-19.

Fatty acids and brain peptides.

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Department of Psychology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel.


The role of fatty acids (FA) as a mediator and modulator of central nervous system activity in general, and peptides in particular, is only recently becoming understood. This paper reviews numerous findings concerned with the activity of fatty acids, particularly with their interaction with diverse neurochemical systems and their consequences for better understanding neurotransmitters, hormones and peptides. The effects include FA as precursors in the manufacture of neurochemical elements, including enzymes, neurotransmitters, and hormones. Of particular interest is the important changes in neuronal membrane composition that have been attributed to FA. Such changes may account for the changes in thermoregulation, learning, and other functions that accompany dietary manipulation of FA intake. While the total level of FA has been the object of many investigations, this report addresses the need to focus on the ratio of FA, especially alpha-linolenic/linoleic acid, which has been shown to be a critical factor in a number of research studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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